As a hospital, clinic or other healthcare provider, you’re eager to recruit high calibre doctors, nurses and midwives. But how can you get just the right healthcare staff with the skills, experience, qualifications and personal attributes your organisation needs?
There are plenty of nursing agencies and healthcare recruitment consultancies crowding the net and it’s all too easy to be dazzled by impressive-looking websites and well-practised sales pitches.
So how can you know which agencies will be a pleasure to work alongside and which will go the extra mile to make sure you have just the staff you require?
Below are five questions you should think about when choosing your healthcare recruitment consultancy or nursing agency.
You need to consider how much experience the healthcare recruitment agency and its consultants have amassed.
This is, however, not the same as asking how long the company has been in business because it’s quite likely that the consultants have worked in similar positions before and built a wealth of vital knowledge and a network of excellent contacts.
A good consultant can use these contacts to source a wide range of talents to make sure your organisation gets exactly the right type of healthcare professionals to fill its medical vacancies.
You should ask which hospitals, clinics and healthcare businesses the nursing agency or recruitment consultancy has worked with. Don’t be too polite to ask if these organisations come back to the consultancy whenever they need new healthcare professionals.
If they do keep coming back, this is a sign that the agency is efficient, client-focused, easy to deal with and – most importantly – continually meeting its customers’ requirements.
Does the healthcare recruitment consultancy state its placement success rate on its website? If it doesn’t, it might have something to hide. Also look out for quotes from happy clients and candidates.
Is the agency good at filling specific types of medical vacancies? Perhaps the consultancy has an impressive track record of placing mental health nurses or paediatricians or management staff.
This is a useful thing to know as it shows the agency understands the requirements for these kinds of professionals and knows exactly where to locate them. It would suggest the agency is aware of what interview questions to ask these candidates and what skills and experience to assess to select the top talents in these fields.
These days, many medical recruitment companies and nursing agencies operate across borders. You should, therefore, ask how much experience the recruitment consultancy has of your nation’s healthcare system and placing candidates in it.
Alternatively, is there a particular foreign country your organisation likes to recruit staff from? How much experience does the agency have in the healthcare recruitment market in that country?
Differences between healthcare systems can, of course, also exist within countries. Healthcare provision can differ between England and Scotland or between American or Australian states. Don’t be afraid to find out how much the medical recruitment agency knows about the healthcare system where you are.
It is also vital that your healthcare recruitment consultancy or nursing agency has a profound grasp of healthcare market trends. The costs of certain healthcare services – including the salary levels of professionals of various kinds – can move up and down.
An agency with a cutting-edge knowledge of what’s going on in the healthcare recruitment market can give you valuable advice. This means that you can offer appealing packages to attract high calibre candidates, but without paying more than you need to.
The best healthcare recruitment consultancies and nursing agencies make an extra effort. They do everything to make the whole recruitment process as straightforward as they can and take the time to listen to and look after both their clients and candidates.
Ask whether your recruitment agency takes pride in offering a friendly, personal service. Will they respond quickly to your emails and telephone calls? Will they get back to you as soon as possible about any concerns you have? Will the consultancy keep you up-to-date on each stage of the recruitment process?
There’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with a detached, machine-like company that only seems to answer your questions with standard automated responses.
You want a real human being who is easily accessible, with whom you can discuss things. You need a consultant who really listens to you, who takes on board what you say and who immediately takes any necessary action.
You need to know whether your consultancy will thoroughly check CVs and properly interview candidates so you’ll only spend your time talking to talents who are suitable for the post.
Will the agency refund you if a candidate doesn’t work out? Can they give you guidance on appropriate salaries in the light of market trends?
Will your healthcare recruitment consultancy be happy to undertake tasks such as placing advertisements, scheduling start dates, breaking the news to candidates you’ve turned down and sending offer letters to successful talents?
If you get the feeling a nursing agency or healthcare recruitment consultancy is fond of cutting corners, don’t use it. You deserve a conscientious consultancy dedicated to providing high-quality customer service.
Such a company is far more likely to find you the right sorts of candidates, candidates who could be an asset to your organisation for many years to come.
A reputable healthcare recruitment agency should do more than just tell its candidates to apply for certain jobs. It should provide its talents with a wide-ranging service that takes them through the recruitment process from the very start to very end.
By offering the right guidance and support, the recruitment agency can ensure the selection process is easier and more straightforward for everybody concerned and that the successful candidates will adapt to their new jobs with confidence.
Consider the following points. Does the agency help the talents prepare for their interviews with you so you can get a clear picture of their skills, experience and personal strengths?
Does the agency give the candidates guidance on the visa, immigration and registration processes? Does the consultancy – using its knowledge of healthcare market trends – advise the talents on realistic salary levels?
Is the agency on hand to answer the candidates’ questions to ensure that communication between you and the talent is smooth, efficient and free from misunderstandings?
Any nursing agency or healthcare recruitment consultancy that can offer these services will make each step of the recruitment process less stressful and more straightforward for both the candidate and your organisation.
IHR Group is an international healthcare recruitment consultancy and nursing agency that matches top quality doctors, nurses and midwives with healthcare jobs in Ireland, the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
We are very proud of our 99% placement success rate and the friendly, personal service we offer. Please feel free to have a look at our clients’ page to learn what we can do for your clinic, hospital or healthcare business.